Oklahoma Farm Report masthead graphic with wheat on the left and cattle on the right.
Howdy Neighbors!
Ron Hays, Director of Farm and Ranch Programming, Radio Oklahoma Ag Network  |  2401 Exchange Ave, Suite F, Oklahoma City, Ok 73108  |  (405) 601-9211

advertisements
   
   
   
   
   
    
   
   
   
   
   

Agricultural News


Environmental Defense Fund Initiative to Reduce Fertilizer Pollution

Wed, 08 Oct 2014 12:21:20 CDT

Environmental Defense Fund Initiative to Reduce Fertilizer Pollution

Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) has launched a new, collaborative initiative to eliminate fertilizer pollution as a major environmental concern in the United States. The effort will engage farmers and businesses throughout the supply chain to transform the way fertilizer-dependent grain crops are grown and sourced.


“If we’re going to meet food demands for a growing population, we’ve got to decouple production from pollution as soon as possible,” said EDF vice president David Festa. “The most promising way to accomplish this essential task is by collaborating with decision makers at every point in the U.S. grain supply chain – from retailers and food companies to agribusiness and farmers.”


Fertilizer is the engine of agriculture, but its inefficient use is one of the biggest threats to a stable climate and clean water. Nitrogen not soaked up by crops emits a heat-trapping gas 300 times more powerful than carbon dioxide. Phosphorus and nitrogen run-off from fertilizer causes toxic algal blooms that contaminate drinking water supplies and create dead zones.


Grains, especially corn, are the most fertilizer-intensive of all U.S. crops, using nearly 100 million tons a year.


“Our long-term goal is to make the entire U.S. grain supply sustainable – good for farmers, good for the climate and good for our waterways,” said Suzy Friedman, director of EDF’s Sustainable Sourcing Initiative.


“To do that, we need to engage the private sector. We need to generate demand for sustainable grains and build up the supply,” said Jenny Ahlen, EDF supply chain manager. “It will make our food system more resilient.”


The initiative is already gaining traction with key players throughout the supply chain:


Retailers

Last year, Walmart – the nation’s largest grocer, commanding a third of the market – asked many of its top suppliers to submit fertilizer optimization plans. This new fertilizer program is part of Walmart’s commitment to reduce 20 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from its supply chain by 2015, a commitment EDF helped the company to develop. Walmart analyzed its greenhouse gas footprint and found that for half of its top 100 products, fertilizer use was the biggest GHG hotspot.


Suppliers


EDF is working with several Walmart suppliers – including General Mills, Smithfield and The Coca-Cola Company (in partnership with World Wildlife Fund) -- to develop and implement fertilizer efficiency programs. So far, 15 companies representing 30 percent of food and beverage sales in North America have developed plans to source more sustainable grains to meet Walmart’s demand.


Agribusiness


EDF is collaborating with Iowa-based United Suppliers to develop and implement a fertilizer efficiency program to meet the supply chain demand. United Suppliers is a member-owned wholesaler that provides agricultural products and services to about 700 grower cooperatives and retailers covering 45 million acres of farmland in the United States. The company has committed to optimizing fertilizer use on 10 million acres, which would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 5 million metric tons and contribute to cleaner water.


“We believe we’ve got to be on the forefront of this sustainability issue and keep crop nutrients in the fields where they’re applied,’’ said United Suppliers Vice President Matt Carstens. “With EDF’s help, we’ve put together a program that can help growers sort through practices that improve fertilizer efficiency so they can meet food companies’ new standards.”


Farmers


EDF is also working with farmer networks that have helped to reduce fertilizer loss by an average of 25 percent on half a million acres while maintaining or increasing crop yields.


“Fertilizer is the most expensive input for farmers, so it makes good business sense for us to maximize its efficiency,” said Brent Bible, co-owner and operator of a 2,500-acre grain production farm in Indiana. “But it’s hard to predict the weather, which is a huge factor in fertilizer application. My hope is that as demand for nutrient-efficient grains increases, it will spur development of new tools and applications that can better assist us in managing all the factors that go in to making decisions about fertilizer.”


The near-term goal of EDF’s Sustainable Sourcing Initiative is to maximize fertilizer efficiency on half of U.S. corn crops by 2020 (approximately 45 million acres), which will cut 25 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions and improve water quality.


   

 

WebReadyTM Powered by WireReady® NSI

 


Top Agricultural News

  • Immune System Tips Offered to Stay Healthy   Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:57:47 CDT
  • Soy Innovation Challenge to Award Disruptive Innovators  Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:54:48 CDT
  • Thursday Preopening Market Update with Dave Lanning  Thu, 02 Apr 2020 07:01:56 CDT
  • Feeder Steer and Feeder Heifers Lower at OKC West - El Reno  Thu, 02 Apr 2020 05:45:50 CDT
  • NCBA and OCA Cheer Congressional Letter to USDA Urging Immediate Help for Beef Cattle Producers  Wed, 01 Apr 2020 22:31:40 CDT
  • Oklahoma Grain Elevator Cash Bids as of 2:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 1, 2020  Wed, 01 Apr 2020 18:25:50 CDT
  • Wednesday, April 1, 2020 Market Wrap-Up with Justin Lewis  Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:21:56 CDT
  • Lucas Joins Colleagues Urging USDA to Provide Immediate Assistance to Cattle Producers  Wed, 01 Apr 2020 15:08:49 CDT

  • More Headlines...

       

    Ron salutes our daily email sponsors!

    Oklahoma City Farm Show KIS FUTURES, INC. Oklahoma Ag Credit Oklahoma Farm Bureau National Livestock Credit Ag Mediation Program P&K Equipment AFR Insurance Stillwater Milling Oklahoma Cattlemen's Association

    Our Road to Rural Prosperity sponsors!

    Banc First OPSRC ORWA TPAOO TPAOO

    Search OklahomaFarmReport.com


       
       
    © 2008-2020 Oklahoma Farm Report
    Email Ron   |   Newsletter Signup   |    Current Spots   |    Program Links

    WebReady powered by WireReady® Inc.